School leadership understood that needed updates to a worn but much-loved building, “The Barn,” presented an opportunity to enhance its presence and role on campus. The result became a complete interior/exterior renovation of the classroom-housing former dairy barn, along with the construction of a complementary classroom building linked to it by a glass-enclosed connector. In total, the project encompassed nearly 28,000 square feet.
The simplicity and beauty of The Barn’s form and structure are celebrated by placing within it a larger Library and Student Commons, relocating smaller classroom spaces into a parallel building of similar form. The floors in the Student Commons were milled from old timbers taken from The Barn’s lower level, and The Barn’s existing stone walls were cleaned and left exposed in the interior corridors. Reconstructed cupolas bring natural light into reading areas in the Library and sliding barn-style doors enclose the Commons.
Additional spaces include classroom space, science and computer labs, music classroom and practice rooms, and media center. Students worked to identify, research and propose a number of sustainable building technologies and components, including solar power, waterless urinals, low emission paints and insulation made from recycled jeans, all of which were incorporated. Impressively, one student group wrote a successful grant application to BP Solar, which donated six solar panels. The project was completed in phases to allow maximum student use of the facility throughout the construction process.
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